Van Gaal: Manchester United 'best team in the league' after recent form
Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United have been the Premier League's outstanding side over the last three months.
And he feels they are a team transformed since the opening day of the season when they lost 2-1 to Saturday's opponents Swansea in Van Gaal's first game in charge.
United only won three of their first 11 matches under Van Gaal but have only been beaten once in the subsequent 19 in all competitions.
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And whereas only Ander Herrera of Van Gaal's six summer signings featured in the last meeting with Garry Monk's side, United have since brought in Marcos Rojo, Angel Di Maria, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao.
"As you know, when you see the score of the last 19 or 20 matches we are the best team in the league," Van Gaal said in a news conference. "So, I think confidence is also high like the beginning [of the season].
"I think only the difference is now the players know and have experience of playing in the system with my philosophy. We also shouldn't forget a lot of my players in the first match were not there.
"Rojo wasn't there, Blind was not there, Di Maria was not there, maybe another player, Shaw was not playing for example. A lot of players didn't play so when I see the lineup against Swansea there is a lot of differences -- it's another match."
Van Gaal admitted it was a surprise to lose to Swansea at the start of the campaign after United had enjoyed an excellent preseason tour.
"We came from the United States where we had won everything, so that was a big shock at that moment," Van Gaal added.
The Dutchman argued that United's visit to the U.S., where they won the International Champions Cup, was a mistake.
"We don't have to forget that we have said it in advance that the American tour was not good for the preparation for a team in the Premier League."